Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Barcelona BidæCould Bolster FIU

MajoræLeagueæSoccer, the premier professional soccer league of the United States, is growing with each passing year. And the MLS remains hungry for more as last month the league allowed numerous cities to place bids for two more franchises set to play in 2011.

The most intriguing bid came out of South Florida, as Miami businessman Marcelo Claure joined forces with FC Barcelona, one of the biggest soccer clubs in the world, in an attempt to bring a professional soccer team to Miami.

“We have the stadium ready to go and we have the finances in place,” said Bolivian native Claure, during a press conference in October.

The bid for the Miami based team stated that the squad would play in the new FIFA sanctioned football stadium of Florida International University, FAU’s archrival.

An expansion fee of $40 million would accompany the bid that has drawn all sorts of excitement to soccer fans in South Florida, especially since a website, www.miamifcb.com, has already been created for the team. The site asks South Floridians to sign up as fans and even offers season tickets for anyone interested. There’s definitely interest as over 1,500 season ticket requests have been submitted and 500 season ticket deposits of $20 have been made.

A press release on FC Barcelona’s web site stated that the location hadn’t been set in stone, but that talks were in progress.

“The most likely solution will be Florida International University, with whom negotiations are already at a late stage as the potential club seeks to use the facility for at least the first two years of its existence,” reads the website of the two-time European Champions.

Though financial terms for FIU have not been revealed publicly, the deal seems beneficial for all parties, especially the Golden Panthers.

“This partnership is good for our entire community,” said FIU Athletic Director Pete Garcia. “The economic impact with regards to jobs and the exposure this brings to FIU as an international institution, partnering with Marcelo [Claure] and FC Barcelona, not only takes us to the next level athletically but also as a university.”

What does all this mean for FAU? Well if the move does get approved by MLS, and FIU sees Barcelona financially backing a professional team playing on their campus, the effects could be exponential.

Both schools’ athletic departments. and men’s and women’s soccer programs could be effected. Top high school soccer players would be more likely to target the Golden Panthers over the Owls.

“While FAU is closer to me, if I had the chance to play for FIU or FAU, I’d have to choose FIU,”says a smiling Felipe Nascimento, a Brazilian midfielder at Monarch High School, when asked about which university he’d rather play for. “Who could turn down a deal to play for a team that’s linked with Barcelona?”

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